fernweh — (n.) a homesickness for a place you’ve never been; a longing to travel, an ache for distance. // heimweh — (n.) a desire for going home, the longing for return
These two German words may be opposites, but I feel like I inhabit both of them equally. When I’m home, I’m dreaming of far off locales, but when I’m travelling, a part of me longs for home. In order to tackle this fernweh/heimweh cycle, I decided that I wanted to ground myself and mark where home was. I was cleaning out my car when I found some old maps, and I decided this would be a perfect project!
- An old map
- A photo frame (I used the RIBBA frame from Ikea)
Honestly, all you have to do is trace the correct sized rectangle to fit into the frame, plop it in, and voila! It makes a great display piece, and the geometry of the streets and avenues is strangely soothing. If/when I move away from Edmonton, I will definitely be bringing this with me to remind me of where I’m from.
I would love to buy a couple more of these frames so that I could use maps from more cities that I feel a connection to! It would be a great decoration theme to have a row of framed maps of cities I’ve traveled to, or even plan to travel to. If you are not sure where to get maps from in this current age of GPS and Google Maps (thank God for Google Maps), I would suggest checking old thrift stores or even your own glove box! Failing that, you can always check in with a local motor association to see if they sell maps or are willing to give them away for free. You could also probably print out some maps if you’d like!
I also just wanted to chime in about how much the linguistics minor in me appreciates the way that life and experiences can transcend languages. Some words convey such beautiful ideas that even if the word is in a foreign language that defies direct translation, speakers can still identify the feeling that word describes.
That’s enough about me though — would you describe yourself as more of a fernweh or heimweh person? What cities call to you?
Until next time, happy crafting!